Curator's Message

"In the realm of martial arts, who is the best in this world?" Throughout his lifetime, Jin Yong created fifteen novels and shaped over 1,400 characters. Wherever there are Chinese people, Jin Yong's world of "wuxia" can be found. From his first novel, The Book and the Sword, to his last, The Deer and the Cauldron, Jin Yong's series of novels and novellas not only symbolise his youth, but also serve as a collective memory for the people of Hong Kong, evoking a deep sense of pride within the global Chinese community. His works represent the essence of "wuxia" writing which encompasses culture, history, religion and morality, while also exploring the intricacies of human relationships, including passionate love and fierce rivalries. They are literary treasures, immortal classics, and guiding beacons in life.

"A young man ventured forth to the south, coming to Hong Kong to thrive and establish a family and a fulfilling career." In 1948, Jin Yong arrived in Hong Kong. Beneath the Lion Rock, this city became Jin Yong's home and the stage for his extraordinary achievements. Not only did he hold an enduring passion for this city, he also wielded his pen like a sword, actively engaging in social issues and offering valuable contributions to Hong Kong through his writing. Besides being a literary giant, he was an outstanding social activist who was dedicated to his country and its people.

The event is titled "A Path to Glory – Jin Yong's Centennial Memorial". With support from diverse sectors of society, this commemorative event unites numerous Chinese artists who embody the spirit of Jin Yong and his characters through different artistic languages, including sculpture, visual arts, design, and music. These characters, whether they are widely recognised heroes or enigmatic supporting roles, are brought to life through three-dimensional sculptures that brilliantly portray their distinctive qualities and personalities. They transport us into the fantastical realm of Jin Yong's world of "wuxia". The artists gracefully intertwine their own creative visions with Jin Yong's literary prowess, liberating these heroes from the confines of flat pages and presenting them before us, as if they have transcended the boundaries of fiction and now stand in our presence. They not only pay tribute to the centenary of Jin Yong's birth, but also serve as a profound expression of their deep affections for the spirit of chivalry, conveyed through their unique artistic language.

The event's theme is taken from a message Guo Jing delivered to Yang Guo in The Giant Eagle and its Companion — "To serve, is a path to glory". This phrase sums up Jin Yong's life and his aspirations for the country. Achieving the greatness of chivalry is not a goal in itself, but rather a journey of personal growth. Despite his honesty and candidness, Guo Jing embodies loyalty, kindness, and righteousness; Yang Guo, though rebellious, harbours a deep-rooted hatred for evil. The life paths of these contrasting characters converge. As the saying goes, "Those who recite ‘Namo Buddha' will accomplish the path to Buddhahood." If we are patriotic and devoted to serving the country and its people, we will eventually become true embodiments of chivalry.

I am immensely grateful for the staunch support of the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau, Mega Arts and Cultural Events Fund, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, as well as the continuous encouragement, assistance, and guidance provided by Ming Ho Publications Corporation Limited throughout the planning process. This event would not have been possible without their invaluable help and support.

While I never had the privilege of meeting Jin Yong in person, my deep admiration for him stems from his unwavering commitment and relentless pursuit of knowledge. Even at an advanced age, he embarked on a journey and obtained a doctoral degree from the University of Cambridge. This courageous act defied societal norms and showcased his determination to surpass his own accomplishments. Jin Yong exuded an unquenchable passion for life, which showed itself in his lifelong yearning for freedom and his unbounded romanticism.

May we possess fearless hearts, resembling swords, carrying forward Jin Yong's indomitable spirit which guides us ahead, and construct an everlasting memorial with unyielding commitment to these ideals. Let the flame of chivalry continue to illuminate the path for future generations, allowing humanity to shine at all times.

"To all of us, you are the epitome of greatness in this world" – forever remembered and forever cherished, our esteemed and chivalric hero, Dr Louis Cha (Jin Yong).

William Fong